The Healing Company: Visual & Movement Team Members
I'm very excited to announce part of the members of the visual team of The Healing Company for Break Horizons. One of the ways I work in creating in an Indigenous centered paradigm is utilizing the strengths of artists and their ability to contribute and collaborate beyond the confines and the restrictions that colonial theatre functions on.
As you get introduced to more members of the Healing Company you will meet artists who are spherical in their creative practice, performers, composers, creators, makers, builders, producers, conjurer's and much more. As an artistic leader it's my responsibility to provide spaces for them to have vulnerable and courageous space to make offers for the mission statement of the show - unshackle ourselves from the prisons we've created.
So not unlike Kamloopa, where we created our own roles outside colonial normative positions, with The Healing Company we are creating departments (much like t.v and film does) and populating them with artists that can collaborate and conjure elements that can accomplish the artistic ceremonies mission.
I'm curating a team that is filled with not just profoundly moving artists but anti-imperialists, anti-racists and community advocates. Every person demonstrates a deep commitment to building a more equitable society and this is instrumental for the company to be Healing beyond the scope of the show.
In a previous post I wrote Indigenous theatre "is not about the race of whose creating the team - which I originally thought it was - it’s about the artistic teams ability to assert Indigenous sovereignty and refuse colonial imperialism. And because many Indigenous peoples perpetuate this (imperialism and colonialism), I won’t curate my teams just by whose Indigenous, they are going to be assembled with people who inconvenience themselves, who thrust themselves out of colonial dogma and who refuse imperial hegemony. This is the path of Indigenous resistance."
So you will see that each member utilizes their many platforms to amplify, respect and champion the safe and dignified experience of Indigenous peoples and I couldn't be prouder to work with them. So without further ado, I'd like to introduce to you the next 3 members of the Healing Company.
We’re starting with one of the original members of the Kamloopa Fire Company Jessica Schacht. She is traversing the world building, movement, visual team and helping us launch this mother as Associate Director.
Jessica was integral to creating Kamloopa, always asking the tough questions, holding us accountable and showing up with her remarkable preparedness, nourishing energy and relentless support.
Jessica is a dramaturg, director, and playwright of Métis/Canadian descent based on Vancouver Island. Her focus is the development of new and Indigenous work and collaborative practices. Her work and ethos centre around exploring identity and relationships through the cultural, environmental, and personal experiences that shape us and it was no question from me that she’d find a big part in the fabric of the universe of Break Horizons.
I’m also super pumped to intro Kayla Dunbar as the head of the movement department. Kayla Dunbar is a first generation Scottish settler and is director, choreographer, performer and educator in the theatre arts and dance sector. Kayla is committed to anti-racism practices and disrupting the status quo.
It's these deliberate and courageous commitments and bold decision making around creating anti-racists spaces, along with her work ethic and innovative approach to creating physical vernaculars that get me so excited to be working with Kayla. Our zoom hang had me vibrating for days after her conscious and creative offers for shaping Break.
And finally leading our costume and regalia department is the one and only Sabrina Pollitt (Aka. Scarlet Delirium). Scarlet is a "Vancouver" based Kwakwaka'wakw Burlesque Costume Designer and a Costumer in TV/Film.
She graduated with distinction from Capilano University's Costuming for Stage and Screen Program in 2015 and jumped right into the bustling world of Film. She is also a founding member of Turtle Islands first all Indigenous Burlesque Troupe; Virago Nation.
I first saw Scarlet perform as an artist during a burlesque performance when she came out in her latex orca costume and my jaw dropped. I watched her captivate the theatre and said to myself how can I work with this powerful creator.
She then again blew me away when she showed me her early sketches for the femmes Indigenous Futurism regalia for Break. Scarlet is going to captivate us all with her out of this world, culturally grounded visual story artistic creations and it’s going to be sexy as hell!!!
These 3 femmes will be journeying in an out of many dimensions of the visual and movement team and I could not be more excited to hold space and collaborate with them. Give it up for Jessica, Kayla and Scarlet all members of The Healing Company for Break Horizons!
With great excitement and deep love,
Leigh Hilary Lee
Jon Christian Ashby